Home by Choice by Brenda Hunter, Ph.D is an excellent book, full of encouragement to mothers to stay at home with their children. I recommend it highly to any mother or mother-to-be. The main message that I took away from reading this book was that it is mothers who teach their children how to be human. It is by us loving them, nurturing them, forming a secure attachment with them, that allows them to grow into emotionally healthy young people.
I have always known that having a mother at home is important for young children, but I didn't realize just how important. In the book she says,
"The fact remains that babies thrive when they have sensitive, responsive, and consistent mothering. And they fail to develop their full potential when they are deprived of maternal love. They need their mother during their earliest years more than they need toys, socializing with other children, or the material comforts a second income will buy"(64).
This is something that should be engrained in young women before they have children. Imagine if most young ladies fully understood how important being right there at home with their children really was, and made choices to ensure that they would be a stay at home mom. Instead our culture has come to believe that it's ok to be a working mother, even when you do not necessarily have to be one. If at all possible if a woman has young children, she needs to make every effort possible to stay home.
Hunter goes on to write,
"Ironically, while some mothers do not realize just how important they are to their young, subhuman primates are biologically programmed to keep their infants nearby. . . The infants sleep beside their mothers at night and never wander far from their sight by day. They run to their mothers if they become alarmed or afraid. . . Apparently, subhuman primates make good mothers. Not only do they stay close to their infants, but when they discipline their young, rebuffs are always gentle"(76).
Hunter reveals studies that show how mothers become less sensitive in their interactions with their children when they place them in daycare, and the children, in turn, become less affectionate toward their mothers. A study went on to reveal that the more hours a child spent in daycare the less sensitive the mother was in interacting with her child, and the more negative the child was towards her.
This is critical because "the way a mother interacts with her child is an important predictor of later child development- affecting social, cognitive, and linguistic competencies in early and middle childhood." So, a mother has that much influence over how her children turn out! It is not a job for the faint of heart. That is why we as mothers have to pray without cease, and seek after God. We have such an important job, and what mother wants to fail her child?
No one, I would hope. Choose this day to invest in your children's lives. If a woman feels that she must work to help out financially, then working part-time may be the answer. Once a woman becomes a mother, the most important job that she has is loving, nurturing, and training them. What career success can be sweet if your home is falling apart?